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Hans Zimmer's DUNKIRK


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This approach to wanting films to be almost ascetic in their storytelling, or that those kind of films are somehow "purer," is such horse crap to me.  These are tricks that storytellers have been usin

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15 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

Well it's not definitely bad by any means... but if felt too much like a collection of scenes without any glue

 

Yep, or rather, words to that effect.

 

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I remember thinking why Saving Private Ryan couldn't have been all in the style of that opening scene and maybe now I see why. At least Dunkirk is more consistent in its own compared to Spielberg's flick, though I'd say both a more or less on the same level.

 

Saving Private Ryan has its flaws (meandering and preachy middle section, the bad dialogue in the church night camp being the lowest point), but I disagree with the notion that Dunkirk is some kind of equal to it. It really should have been, given the subject, and I was hoping it would be, but no.

 

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As an Argentinian watching a British war film is always a liiiiiittle uncomfortable

 

This is very interesting to me actually, as a Brit. How are films like this one received in your country? Do you find the more patriotic content of the film difficult to digest? 

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26 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

As an Argentinian watching a British war film is always a liiiiiittle uncomfortable; though uneven it's still a good movie, and I think time will make me appreciate it more.... Who knows.

 

Yeah, that's not limited to Argentina. 

 

I find it easier to ignore of WWII. 

 

It is a bit weirder if its WWI or a more modern sense. 

 

WWII is its own thing though. 

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22 minutes ago, Quintus said:

This is very interesting to me actually, as a Brit. How are films like this one received in your country? Do you find the more patriotic content of the film difficult to digest? 

 

Well, the theatre I went to was almost full and people applauded it by the end, but it's weird... I feel it's a conflict on interests, you know? I have nothing personal in this, but over the years my views have become more and more conflicted. I used to have a teacher in high school who was in Malvinas/Fawklands and used to tell us stories about it; almost every day I pass by Casa Rosada and you see the veterans desperately asking our goverment to help them, or even to recognize them, so I'd say it's still an open wound in most of our population.

 

When I was a teen I frequently got into very heated arguments because my thought process was "They won, it's theirs, forget about it! We only pay attention to those islands because we lost them, if they were still ours we wouldn't give two shits about them" and mostly I still think that way. The problem, in my opinion, lies more with the fact that our goverment even thought of going into a war that they knew was lost to begin with and sacrificed innocent lives for some patriotic bullshit... There are famous prints of newspapers from those days that exclaimed "WE'RE WINNING!" like it was a fucking competition of some bullshit like that when in fact we were losing like madmen, with probably one of the most unprepared armies in the XXth century.... I went a little overboard, but I remember one time many years ago when I was wearing a t-shirt that had a small British flag on the right side of the chest (I didn't even really notice, I normally don't pay much attention to what I put on) but a good amount of people recriminated me for doing so... So it's kinda like that, like I said, still an open wound.

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6 minutes ago, publicist said:

Well, the Churchill/Elgar quotes at the end were easily the most lame element of the movie. Tacked on for an empty cheer ill-deserved.

 

Best musical moment of the film. Lovely arrangement by Wallfisch. Beautiful contrast to the sound design of the rest of the score.

 

Churchill quote a proper goosebump moment, even if we've heard the speech a hundred times before.

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1 minute ago, publicist said:

I don't need to sit through 90 minutes of unnerving tension for tension's sake to be rewarded with a big cheer to the noble cause that was the british war effort. Strikes me as a bit opportunistic: is that what the film wanted to tell me? 

 

I found it to be more a celebration of survival and the human spirit than anything particularly nationalistic.

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24 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

Well, the theatre I went to was almost full and people applauded it by the end, but it's weird... I feel it's a conflict on interests, you know? I have nothing personal in this, but over the years my views have become more and more conflicted. I used to have a teacher in high school who was in Malvinas/Fawklands and used to tell us stories about it; almost every day I pass by Casa Rosada and you see the veterans desperately asking our goverment to help them, or even to recognize them, so I'd say it's still an open wound in most of our population.

 

When I was a teen I frequently got into very heated arguments because my thought process was "They won, it's theirs, forget about it! We only pay attention to those islands because we lost them, if they were still ours we wouldn't give two shits about them" and mostly I still think that way. The problem, in my opinion, lies more with the fact that our goverment even thought of going into a war that they knew was lost to begin with and sacrificed innocent lives for some patriotic bullshit... There are famous prints of newspapers from those days that exclaimed "WE'RE WINNING!" like it was a fucking competition of some bullshit like that when in fact we were losing like madmen, with probably one of the most unprepared armies in the XXth century.... I went a little overboard, but I remember one time many years ago when I was wearing a t-shirt that had a small British flag on the right side of the chest (I didn't even really notice, I normally don't pay much attention to what I put on) but a good amount of people recriminated me for doing so... So it's kinda like that, like I said, still an open wound.

 

Really appreciate your reply, it was honest and illuminating. Thank you, and good to know you.

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4 hours ago, Thor said:

 

I found it to be more a celebration of ... the human spirit than anything particularly nationalistic.

 

Yes, precisely this.  I think this was a movie about common decency, nobility, and that sort of thing, all the way through, and the Elgar/Churchill coda just solidifies that in a way relevant to the story.  

 

This is something Nolan seems really good at, creating stirring moments with simple, decent or heroic things.  It's the emotional core of the Batman films for me- a great example is the cheer that goes up from the Gotham police when they spot the Bat... something echoed in the soldiers' several cheers in this film.  Just these small moments of goodness really resonate.  The guy with the beers at the train station in this one, Rylance's commitment to helping the stranded (made more moving considering his elder son's fate), Hardy's heroics....  

 

Maybe I'm corny and old fashioned, it just works with me.

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3 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 I think this was a movie about common decency, nobility, and that sort of thing, all the way through, and the Elgar/Churchill coda just solidifies that in a way relevant to the story.  

 

A Spielberg ending to a Nolan movie. I stay with 'interesting'. But that's already cause for celebration considering the IMAX trailers we suffered through before the movie started ('Justice League', 'Kingsman II' and so on, all completely terrible).

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10 hours ago, publicist said:

I don't mind them...in another movie.

 

Indeed. That coda did not belong to this movie. It was like Nolan was desperately trying to spin the film into something it was not.

 

- KK, who quite enjoyed Dunkirk

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He'd have been alright with it if it weren't for Hans.

 

Btw, I haven't been following the making of the soundtrack for this film, but I'm assuming that in order to authentically recreate the propulsive churning ticking clock theme of the score, Zimmer summoned a small armada of tugboats and their war veteran captains (probably more than seen in the actual movie) to a large studio water tank (at his house), where they positioned themselves in a tightly organised circle and revved their engines in rhythmic unison under Zimmer's instruction to be recorded by a giant underwater microphone?

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For me that scene at the end with the Churchill speech was actually great, since it was one of the soldiers delivering it in a non-heroic way. Plus it felt earned. 

 

5 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

Like the whole concept of the 3 timelines in the film? What was the point of it?

 

Nolan wanted the story to be in a much more non-linear fashion. Once you get the hang of the overall story-structure, it's actually not entirely that hard to follow though.

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I never said it was hard to follow, I said it was pointless.

 

The speech wasnt very good actually. There's a reason why actors like Branagh, McKellen, Patrick Stewart etc etc... are good at giving long speeches and it's because they manage to instil some emotion into the dialogue.

It certainly didnt feel earned, it felt low key. Like a lot of the film.

 

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It was actually meant to be a low-key approach to a famous speech. It was a few soldiers reading the newspaper after all. Personally I thought it worked quite fine. I'm glad they didn't hire an actor to randomly impersonate Churchill for one scene anyway.

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On 2017-7-27 at 6:16 PM, Hurmm said:

I like a handful of shots -- the shot near the end when the spitfire is slowly descending/crashing with the town flashing by in the background was great. But by and large like Quint says this movie more than any of his others showed what a poor visual storyteller Nolan is. He may have one or two good shots (or stills), but he can't string them together to form a cohesive, entertaining sequence. Yeah, the scale is oddly tiny in this. In no way is that a good thing. Claustrophobic in small spaces yeah. But even the vista shots feel small. Nolan tries hard, but the more he tries the more disparate the setup is with the final images. 

 

This!

 

Shooting in 65mm actually makes it seem worse.  His early stuff, Memento, Insomnia were quite sparse and claustrophobic visually in a way that fitted the nature of their films. Dunkirk actually feels barren! Such a large canvas and so little in it.

 

4 minutes ago, Fancyarcher said:

It was actually meant to be a low-key approach to a famous speech. It was a few soldiers reading the newspaper after all. Personally I thought it worked quite fine. I'm glad they didn't hire an actor to randomly impersonate Churchill for one scene anyway.

 

Again, I know what the intention was. But I don't really think it does anything for the movie in the end. 

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2 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

Again, I know what the intention was. But I don't really think it does anything for the movie in the end. 

 

I found it fairly earned actually. I'll admit it may have just been there to end the film on a more "stirring" note, but it didn't bother me. 

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8 minutes ago, Fancyarcher said:

 

 but it didn't bother me. 

 

It didnt mother me, but it didnt move me either. A lot of the film didnt move me. The main story of the young soldier trying to get home the least. The story on the little boat with Rylance and his son was best I guess. The Spitfire storyline was good too. And the visual emptiness actually makes sense there.

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17 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

It didnt mother me, but it didnt move me either. A lot of the film didnt move me. The main story of the young soldier trying to get home the least. The story on the little boat with Rylance and his son was best I guess. The Spitfire storyline was good too. And the visual emptiness actually makes sense there.

 

I doubt much of the film was even meant to be "moving" though. It was meant to show the "fears" of war above anything, and for me it worked "great" in that regard.

 

I'm actually seeing the film a second time in IMAX soon enough hopefully. Very excited, since I've been told by many, it's the best format to see the film in.

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The entire film was practically about building tension for me. I actually felt like I was shaking in my theater from the "terror" so to say. Plus I can only imagine what the experience of the film was like in IMAX. I'm sure it comes to life so to say, even more in that format. 

 

I mean I can understand, why someone wouldn't care for something like that, but for me it worked perfectly. 

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On 2017-7-27 at 11:36 PM, publicist said:

Well, the Churchill/Elgar quotes at the end were easily the most lame element of the movie. Tacked on for an empty cheer ill-deserved.

 

If you're gonna end you're war film quoting Churchill and cueing the Elgar, make sure you get your finest thesp to deliver the speech and do a proper, no holds barred BBC Proms worthy orchestral rendition of that music?

 

Film makers like Nolan seems so embarrassed by the notion of doing anything truly emotional and stirring.

 

On 2017-7-27 at 7:16 PM, crocodile said:

I can't say my viewing inspired much of an emotional response but part of me is grateful for this dry and detached approach.

 

I actually find this very interesting. Why are you grateful for it? Have you reviewed this film on JWFan, i didnt find it.

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I'm grateful because at least the film doesn't preach. This is the worst thing a film can do and ones based on actual events are worst offenders. I'm grateful there are no pictures of loved ones, impassioned speeches or characters having flowery dialogue. No forced characterisation. I did understand who these people were based just on their actions. And unlike many viewers, I did care about them.

 

I did appreciate there are no politics or ideology in the film. For once, it is simply about human experience in a very specific situation. The film doesn't really try to make any broader points beyond its simple premise which is very refreshing in a war genre. Maybe that is why the finale doesn't quite work as well as it should. I do get why they did it but it rings false for some reason. Maybe because I don't really like speeches. But that's also because it feels somewhat abrupt. The ending arrives somewhat unearned. But I do enjoy the majority of what is leading up to it.

 

My second viewing was definitely better. But then, there is a HUGE difference between a standard digital projection and 70 mm IMAX. When you watch it in the format you suddenly understand why £25 wasn't a waste. The image quality is just stunning and the sound is almost oppressive. This film just needs to be watched this way and this is definitely the finest of the four IMAX-shot films that Nolan has done to date. The aerial scenes look absolutely gorgeous in the format and the vastness of beach is very eerie.

 

I did enjoy a lot of the film but wouldn't be able to say it was great. I respect and admire it more than I do like it, if that makes sense.

 

In short, it is bit clunky. But admirable.

 

Karol

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7 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

It didnt mother me, but it didnt move me either. A lot of the film didnt move me. The main story of the young soldier trying to get home the least. The story on the little boat with Rylance and his son was best I guess. The Spitfire storyline was good too. And the visual emptiness actually makes sense there.

 

I don't know.  To me, the big take away was there was a deep communal sacrifice.  The aviators sacrificed a lot in that they either died, were captured, or were disrespected despite their sacrifice because the third aviator was still alive after the rescue.  I hadn't seen something like this portrayed in a war film and I believe it is very likely true that there was strife between the branches and allies when in the thick of it.  Next there was the civilian who gave so much without question because they knew homestead was next on the Nazi's target.  All had to be sacrificed for the cause because we know from history this was just the beginning of the challenge to come.  That context makes the gravity of the sacrifice even greater because they persevered for many years to come of incredible odds.  Mark Rylance might have been the only one with an emotional outburst but it was so deserved because he was a father who sacrificed a son for the cause that must have felt so hopeless.  Last was of course the hopelessness and desperation of the troops who I understand averaged 19 years old.  Kids.  Yes there were moments of fear, doubt, and cowardness but to me this highlights the depth of their courage that despite this unimaginable fear, they persisted.  To me, I take this film as an experience of a very significant event during WWII told in a unique and non excessive way.

 

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I guess the film doesn't preach, but what does it offer as an alternative? 

 

I actually found the actions of what I guess is the films msin character to be highly questionable. He wants to get off that beach and go home, sure. But what makes him special over the 450.000 others who also want to go home, but don't pretend to be medics to sneak on board a ship.

 

Its a form of queue-barging, and if you ry intend to become a British citizen, Karol. You should know its an unforgivable sin.

 

 

 

I guess the film doesn't preach, but what does it offer as an alternative? 

 

I actually found the actions of what I guess is the films msin character to be highly questionable. He wants to get off that beach and go home, sure. But what makes him special over the 450.000 others who also want to go home, but don't pretend to be medics to sneak on board a ship.

 

Its a form of queue-barging, and if you ry intend to become a British citizen, Karol. You should know its an unforgivable sin.

 

Parts of the film actually strike me as deeply, offensively...un-British!

 

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